For 25 years, the Autodesk user community has come together annually to share techniques, ideas, and inspiration with each other, and with the many Autodesk design and engineering software developers in various industries. The Ultimaker team participated for the second year in a row, introducing over 10,000 attendees from architecture, construction, engineering, entertainment, and design industries to the Ultimaker ecosystem of hardware, software, and materials.
Located in booth #D204 on the exhibit hall floor, we had the chance to discuss emerging roles for technologies like 3D printing at Autodesk University 2017, as well as attend impactful conference sessions. We spoke with fellow guests who were eager to master new techniques and experiment with diverse techniques in manufacturing and automation, which was a great platform for highlighting the adoption of Ultimaker 3D printers in prominent industries.
With a focus on the future of manufacturing and construction, Autodesk University 2017 featured keynotes that introduced attendees to the latest strategy updates and 2018 product releases. Other standout topics included the process of improving interoperability between software packages, and the opportunity to accelerate traditional manufacturing with the addition of 3D printing technology.
Ultimaker highlights at Autodesk University 2017
Our booth featured a Baltimore city planning model, Absolute Towers from MATT Architecture, and the Rosewood Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand from Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates to showcase how Architecture firms are using 3D printing in their daily workflows.
The Wacom and LimbForge booths had Ultimaker printers on display as well, while 3DHubs launched a book that extensively featured Ultimaker technology and customer success stories. Guests visiting the LimbForge booth were updated on their progress and achievements since transforming from the eNable Community Foundation, shifting efforts away from hobby-focused assistive devices to serving a new generation of professional prosthetists globally. Featured in the Ultimaker documentary Hands for Haiti, LimbForge is able to use professional desktop 3D printers and parametric software to develop these affordable, effective prosthetics and assistive devices.
Senior Designer Craig Breckenridge from Dynamic Structures spoke to us about their design for what will become the largest telescope in the world; a project highlighted in the Autodesk booth. Recently, Dynamic Structures has been using an Ultimaker 3D printer to demonstrate various aspects of the project for collaborators and the public. They are even looking to produce an extensive model generated from the world’s largest Autodesk Inventor design file as another exciting aspect of their project!
Our team also had the chance to chat with Autodesk’s research fellow Mickey McManus, who attended Autodesk University 2017 to talk about the future of learning and workforce readiness. In addition to Mickey from the Generative Learning team in San Francisco, Ultimaker spoke with other Autodesk employees who use Ultimaker 3D printers in their offices, such as the Generative Design team in Poland and several members working on aspects of Fusion 360.
Bountiful 3D printing benefits for attendees
Ultimaker Application Engineer Peter Ho found our booth packed with people looking to catch a glimpse of the printers and to pick the brains of Ultimaker staff. “Autodesk University was well attended by some of the industry's best and brightest from architects using Revit to engineers using Fusion 360,” he said, “all of whom could benefit greatly from using an Ultimaker for their 3D printing needs.”
In addition to showcasing impressive architectural models to attendees, Peter was excited to demonstrate the simplicity and ease of use that our new software Cura Connect brings to the table. He continued, “We showed how easy it is to queue up prints on multiple printers, which highlights how much potential benefit can be attained by using our line of products as one system.”
Ultimaker Director of Community North America Matt Griffin appreciated the opportunity to meet with additive experts such as Autodesk researcher and LimbForge founder Andreas Bastian, who shared further insights into the evolution of Autodesk’s approach to advanced manufacturing augmented by 3D printing, as well as how LimbForge brings together Autodesk tools with third-party software, libraries, and ecosystems. “I left with not only new friends, but compelling new techniques and tricks for Fusion360, Inventor, ReCap, and NetFabb, that I cannot wait to share with the Ultimaker Community!”
Collaborating with Dennis Yu from Wacom, Ultimaker Community Strategist Luis Rodriguez designed and printed a new faceplate to integrate into the hands-on Autodesk Factory experience, reminding attendees that having Ultimaker 3D printers on hand means opportunities for experimentation and innovation can even take place in the middle of a Las Vegas expo hall.
Overall, we were excited to see the shift towards 3D printing as a means for topology optimization in advanced manufacturing. We can’t wait to see what happens at Autodesk University 2018!